Nkhata Bay (Lake Malawi, Malawi)

I’ve been busy these days doing absolutely nothing in Nkhata Bay. Or more accurately at Mayoka - a beautiful lakeside backpacker haven. They’ve got the best food I’ve had since Livingstone. Every day I swim across the lake (about .5km) to pick mangoes on the opposite shore, then swim back in time for dinner. I’ll be here until Christmas, then I’ll catch a ferry to Chizimulu Island and stay there through New Years’.

I’m still getting used to the practicalities of independent travel in Africa. Trying to live by schedules, published routes and timetables is about as fun and easy as building igloos in hell. A lot of time is spent waiting for buses to leave, waiting for the electricity to come back on, waiting for the cows to come home, etc. I’m happy to be here, though, and never in a rush. My plan is only to keep going north - back to Cairo the long way.

We spotted several clouds of lake flies on the lake this morning. Lake flies are a special species of fly native to Lake Malawi. When they form breeding swarms, they make giant dark funnel clouds out over the water. Very impressive to see knowing how small they are - about half the size of a normal mosquito. They can be quite a nuissance when you get caught in a passing cloud, but are also apparently a delicacy. Locals sometimes stand outside when the flies pass and catch them by waving nets around. The flies are then pressed into patties and fried up hamburger-style (flied fries?). I haven’t tried one yet.